Strategy& - Screening call horrible experience and need your guidance

Deals Strategy strategy&
New answer on Aug 11, 2022
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 11, 2022

Hello everyone,

I have applied for one position in Deals team at S&.

I had a screen call with the recruiter today and it was a horrible experience.

First of all she came late and started talking rudely. She did not ask me to introduce myself nor did she ask me why I would like to join S&. I had prepared for everything in short and crisp manner.

The first question she asked was why I am leaving my current firm and while I was answering that in 3 pointers, she was like please tell me 1 point in one word as she had another call in next few minutes, then I ask her to repeat one question and she scolded me like I had done some serious crime and then she was like I have very limited time and cannot repeat questions and for the rest of the call she was just shouting at me like anything for no reason at all. She asked basic questions like salary, current location, preferred location, current title. In the salary question as well, there was some confusion regarding the currency as I am not applying to my home office and I was repeating my salary to make sure she get it right and she was like I have to jump on another call let's move on to the next question and if you do not want to move on to the next question, unfortunately I have to disconnect the call. It felt like interrogation. 

I had got the interview last year for this position but did not get the offer unfortunately. I reapplied this year with a referral and got this horrible experience. Still I reached out to her on email after the call and typed all the answers which she had asked me on the call to avoid any confusion as her voice was cracking a bit.

Last year it was really smooth process.

I feel I will not get the interview this time for no fault of mine.

I have been on many screening calls but this one was the worst. Should I reach out to my referrer and explain him this situation? Will he able to do something? I really want to get into S& and in this particular office as I have spoken to around 15 people in the deals team and really like the culture.

Looking forward to your recommendations.

Thank you for your time. 

(edited)

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Ian
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replied on Aug 11, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I'm going to say two seemingly contradictory things.

1) I'm really sorry. That's a terrible experience and shouldn't happen.

2) Suck it up - welcome to life and welcome to a professional career (especially in consulting)

Now, it does sound like you handled yourself well - that's good! As long as you kept your cool, answered her calmly, and did not show her that you were annoyed, you should be just fine!

If you didn't do that, well, you're going to need to work on it. You're going to have clients saying crazy/frustrating stuff to you when you're exhausted. You're going to have a Project Lead or Partner cutting you off, directing you to things you don't expect or want to do at 11pm after a 15 hour day. If you cannot handle this recruiter call, reflect on if you want to deal with things like that as part of the job!

Now, onto a few comments you've made.

She did not ask me to introduce myself nor did she ask me why I would like to join S&. I had prepared for everything in short and crisp manner.

Why does she have to do this? It doesn't matter what you prepared. You need to be ready for anything. What she wants, what the interviewer wants, what the client wants, is all more important than what you prepared. 

“No plan survives first contact with the enemy”

The first question she asked was why I am leaving my current firm and while I was answering that in 3 pointers, she was like please tell me 1 point in one word as she had another call in next few minutes, then I ask her to repeat one question and she scolded me like I had done some serious crime and then she was like I have very limited time and cannot repeat questions and for the rest of the call she was just shouting at me like anything for no reason at all

This is certainly rude of her and frustrating - I get it! However, sounds like you were talking for too long and being too wordy. She wanted you to get to the point - this is important in consulting!

I'm sorry you were yelled at - this is certainly a her problem (stressed, tired, etc.) not a you problem. But this is going to happen…you just need to “bury” it and not show it on your face when this happens in the future.

 

I feel I will not get the interview this time for no fault of mine.

I actually think you might be fine! As long as you kept cool and adjusted when she asked, you will be fine. As in, if you ended up giving her short/sharp responses for example, then you should be ok!

I have been on many screening calls but this one was the worst. Should I reach out to my referrer and explain him this situation? Will he able to do something? I really want to get into S& and in this particular office as I have spoken to around 15 people in the deals team and really like the culture.

I would wait 1 week. See if you end up getting invited. If you don't, then ask your referrer if they can hop on a quick call with you. Please don't try to email/message the situation as it will be impossible to get across what you're trying to say without sounding negative!

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Anonymous B on Aug 11, 2022

It seems like a pressure test to me i.e. how well you can handle pressure particularly because you have already spoken to several people within the hiring team. Makes me think, they already know a lot about your motivation, background etc. and are trying to put you through a drill. I also agree to Ian's suggestion that you should give it some time and wait for their response. The other possibility is that they have already made up their mind to dinge you but are still going ahead with the process as a formality.

Ashwin
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Content Creator
updated an answer on Aug 11, 2022
Ex Manager Bain and company | INSEAD

Hey there , I don’t think you need to be overly concerned about Receuiter call . This screening call I primarily to see if your existing years of experience and compensation fits in with the role requirements . For example , if your experience and pay was much higher than what the role requires or can offer in terms of comp it does not make sense to continue the conversation. Other than that there is no assessment being done by the recruiter . 

 

Thanks 

Ashwin 

 

(edited)

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Cristian
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replied on Aug 11, 2022
#1 rated and most recommended McKinsey Coach | 97% success rate (tracked) | Honest feedback: no sugar-coating

Wow, this is the worst screening call experience that I heard of. 

This is not normal. And you shouldn't accept it as normal because you're the candidate and she is the interviewer. 

Write to whoever gave you the referral to advise you on this. Potentially even write to HR/ the recruiter. Describe the situation in factual manner (avoid making any judgements about her behaviour). Say that you feel you weren't treated fairly and would like to have another screening call. 

Best,

Cristian

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Sofia
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replied on Aug 11, 2022
McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching | DISCOUNTED SESSIONS Sep 2022 | Free 15 min intro call

Hello,

I'm sorry to hear that you felt frustrated by this experience. From what you are saying, it sounds like the recruiter was seriously pressed for time, so my guess is that the brashness of their tone was nothing personal towards you. Sometimes initial screening calls can be a bit sharp. If you kept your cool and answered their questions as prompted, I don't think you should automatically assume that you won't be getting an interview. I would recommend waiting to hear back from them first before jumping to any conclusions.

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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